Faced with the undeniable fact city kids attending charters schools do far better on state exams than those stuck in the regular public-school system, critics routinely complain that charters “teach to the test” — as if that’s somehow a bad thing.
Tests, after all, measure what kids are supposed to learn. Schools that don’t “teach to the test” effectively aren’t teaching at all. In other words, the critics are just avoiding the fact that public charter schools work — and, most embarrassing to the vested interests that depend on the regular system, work far better for lower-income minority children.
As ex-Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat who fought successfully to allow more charters back in 2010, told The Post: “The charter schools took the kids that people said couldn’t learn. These kids are getting scholarships and going to college.”
Students at Success Academy Bronx 2 in Claremont, a charter school that teaches students K-4th grade.Stephen Yang
Indeed, our reporting shows that city black students, in particular, face a far better future if they attend a charter, with far higher percentages scoring proficient in both math and English.
This, though about 80% of charter students count as economically disadvantaged, and roughly 15% of have Individual Education Plans (usually associated with being in special ed), per the NYC Charter School Center.
Indeed, total city charter enrollment is about 41% black and 49% Hispanic — proof positive that charters are increasing opportunity, not “skimming the best students,” as critics also pretend.
Bottom line: Gov. Kathy Hochul’s push to allow more charters to open in the city is the most genuinely progressive idea on the education-policy table. And the state lawmakers who oppose it are opposing true “social justice” at the behest of the majority-white United Federation of Teachers.
Despite the UFT’s best efforts these last two decades, charters now enroll more than 142,000 New York City students — about 15% of public-school-age kids. If Hochul succeeds, those numbers will soar, and more children will learn enough to actually pass their tests.
“It is outrageous that the Legislature would prevent mostly minority parents the opportunity to improve their children’s education,” thunders ex-Gov. George Pataki, the Republican who forced through the original charter law in 1998. “It’s simply discrimination and unfair . . . and there’s no excuse. Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”
Fight the power.